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Curly Coated Retrievers

(22 Posts)
alwaysworking Thu 09-May-13 09:41:14

Has anyone had one / own one and could explain differences in personality between them and a working labrador?

Research so far has indicated slower to mature and take longer to train to work.

are they as food orientated? are they as soppy with children? noise is an irritation when they're working so i assume they're bred to be silent?

is there such a difference between workig bred and show bred curlies in the way there is with cockers and labs?

need to start some research!

horseylady Fri 10-May-13 07:59:06

I have two!!!!

Lovely girls, clever, trainable but stubborn. Have been great with children and my baby.

They seem to be selectively deaf at times lol. Hardly ever bark. Moult like mad though. I think they can come across aloof, but when you get to know them, they really aren't. They can just walk round with their noses up in the air!!!

The difference between working and show is minimal. A breeder would say which was more suited to what. There are very few around. I'm not sure what the demand for them is like.

morethanyoubargainfor Fri 10-May-13 08:25:16

I have one, a boy! he is everything that horsey said! They are amazing dogs, so so good with the children very calm and gentle. We waited 18months for him because of the lack of demand. it so sad that they are dying out because they are just the best. They do moult and the hair does look like pubes, small dark and curly!!! Much nicer personality that labs in my opinion. My curly never barked until we got our other dogs and now he only barks if the doorbell is rung. He is mainly silent.

Whippoorwhill Fri 10-May-13 22:58:17

I've got an 8 month old bitch at the moment and previously had a Curly and a Curly/Lab cross.

They are wonderful dogs. Calmer and cleverer than doodles and pure bred labs. Generally quiet, although my first Curly could bay like the hound of the Baskervilles when she was worried.

All the Curlies I have met have had lovely personalities, funny and clown like with friends and family but reserved and slightly aloof with strangers. All of mine have been amazingly gentle and patient with children.

They can be stubborn and will give you a 'what's in it for me?' look but as long as you make it worth their while they will comply happily.

The two pure bred Curlies have been reasonably food motivated but not crazy with it. The Curly/Lab cross much more so. They have all been very clever thieves and escape artists though, learning very quickly to open doors, gates, fridges and bins. smile

They are very keen on being water dogs and seem happiest when wet and muddy. Mine have always been keen on their comforts too, liking soft cushions and pillows for their heads. Their coats can be quite oily and they shed like crazy when it's moulting time. The hair gathers together in clumps and rolls like tumbleweed.

They are, in my opinion, the best dogs in the world. My other dog is a Springer/Lab cross and lovely as she is, she's not a Curly!

The main down-side is that you have to spend so much time explaining that your dog is NOT a labradoodle.

horseylady Sat 11-May-13 08:02:59

But whipper I always feel strangely proud when someone recognises them as a curly smile

They are brilliant dogs!!!

Whippoorwhill Sat 11-May-13 09:02:01

Oh absolutely! :D After Crufts last year someone made a bee line for me to say they'd seen Curlies on the TV. I was so chuffed.

We met a gorgeous Curly boy in Pets at Home the other week. Spotted them right at the other end of the aisle and we both practically ran over to say hello.

Weirdness though. We drove 2 hours or so to get Rain, only to find that her brother had been bought by someone in the next village. He went to the same puppy training classes but on a different day to us. Totally confused the instructors.

alwaysworking Sat 11-May-13 12:47:26

oh i am so excited and so so pleased to read this.

with labradors i know what i'm doing health test wise. from my research the reading would indicate less health tests are required and indeed only hip scoring is expected of an assured breeder. in labradors there's others that are suggested but not required. are there any such tests with curly coated retrievers? Can't find this information so far.

i can imagine the labradoodle thing is very agranoying.

happy with filth, like them dirty. sounds like a decent office dog as in, non barky but not in visitor's faces. big dog for hte office though.

do you know what yours weigh? just gives me an idea of size.

there's talk of bald spots - is this a problem?

thanks again - amazed I found you all!

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 11-May-13 12:50:48

Horsey that is so true! I am so so proud when someone recognises him as a curly! Equally i have been known to stop at the side of the road if i se someone out walking a curly, once i did this and ended up talking to the owner for over an hour!

Whip your puppy photo is the cutest! which breeder did you use? probably all the curlies mentioned here are related in some way! As whip says they love muddy water, not o keen on a bath, or at least mine isn't. Water whilst out and about rejuvenates him. He is also stupid daft with those he has chosen to love, so family and close friends and the occasional old lady at the bus stop, the only trouble with this is he likes to lean, he is far to big to lean on old ladies legs but he doesn't care!

My Lad was born in 2007. He is indeed brilliant. Although we are his 'staff' not his owners, and at times it feels like we live with him, not the other way round. He has a distinct air of authority about him.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 11-May-13 12:56:44

Bald spots and alopecia can be a problem although mine has never had this problem.

My curly weighs in at hefty 43kgs but he is bgger than breed standard, he also stands a lot taller than he should. We knew he was going to be big as the litter was a accidental one (long story but it did all check out).

They would make a brilliant office dog if you can cope with the hair. My lad had his hip scores done only, well parents did. He had a bad break to his growth plate in his knee when he was 4 months old and that has had many operations in his life to fix it adn now his he 8 pins and 2 plates (that the vets had to call in an engineer to make!) holding it all together, but this is no way hinders him apart from he walks like a lady in stilettos grin.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 11-May-13 13:00:06

Meant to add that during the ops his hips have been checked out, initially the prognosis wasn't good, saying that his hips sockets are very shallow and they not sure how long they would be non problematic. When he had his op when he was 2.5 this problem had resolved itself and hips all good. This stumped the vet. He is now coming up 6 and he has no problem at all with them.

Whippoorwhill Sat 11-May-13 14:41:08

Hi Morethan. Thank you. She was utterly adorable as a pup. She came from the Carricks down in Bexhill on Sea. Her kennel name is Tessmene Bingo Babe. It's such a small gene pool that they are all pretty much related. I seem to remember that she shares Grandparents with my previous Curly. Lots of Gladrags dogs in both their pedigreessmile

Your lad has crazy long legs! Such a cutie. What's his name?

Alwaysworking. Rain is quite a small Curly. She's got a slim build, more like a Flat Coated Retriever and long legs. At 8 months she weighs just over 30kgs. Teazle was a big girl. Chunky and heavy headed and weighed 40kgs as a young, fit dog and a bit more as a sedate old lady.

Teazle suffered badly from baldness. She blew her coat after her first season, then again when she was spayed and it never grew back properly on her hind quarters. I've put a picture of her up on my profile. She's about 11 there and is midway through losing her coat. She bears a striking resemblance to a buffalo and you can clearly see the bald patches. She also has a growth above her tail.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 11-May-13 16:09:51

Promise not to laugh, he is called Victor! he foes have stupidly long legs and a really fat tail! I will try to upload a more recent picture of him!

alwaysworking Sat 11-May-13 16:39:55

whoa they are big dogs then - haven't met them when mine was around for comparison - bit like seeing a sofa in a shop and assuming it's the same size as the one you already have. my lab is 23kg but then she's fine boned so needs to stay light on her feet.

office isn't terribly flash or anything and most have / had dogs so can cope. muddy jeans are acceptable office wear.

i think i need to meet some. thank you for the photographs they're great to see. will have to see who i can find to go and visit. if anyone can recommend breeders we're in dorset / wiltshire / somerset area.

Whippoorwhill Sat 11-May-13 17:06:03

Check out here.
Lots of puppies at the moment. :D

I'm in Wiltshire if you want to meet up on a walk to check out the silly teenager.

Morethan: I think Victor is a great name. I love serious people names on dogs. Our Curly cross was called Sophie.

member Sat 11-May-13 17:45:30


I can't help you with comparisons/technical stuff but had to come & post as we had a liver coloured curly during my childhood/early teens. Rather than the labradoodle thing, back then, people used to wonder if he was a water spaniel.

The leaning thing reminds me of ours - he did used to lean against our legs & if there was a sofa or armchair nearby, he wasn't averse to perching his back end on the seat while the front legs remained on the ground. He did the going round & round to "flatten the reeds" before lying down.

He wasn't wildly barky but didn't like being left home alone & could howl dolefully when he was. For a supposed water dog, ours wasn't wild about water; clean or dirty! My dad took him out shooting from time to time & had to strip off in freezing temperatures to retrieve birds from a lake! Probably should mention dog was 6 months when we got him & had spent that time living in an outdoor run with no training at all.

Can't answer if he was any more or less motivated by food than a lab, though he could make short work of a pound of mince left to defrost on a kitchen worktop smile !

Regarding bald patches, ours used to seem to get some kind of acute itch on his hind quarters & would whirl his head round & nibble at that area so it did have less hair/bald patch. He didn't have fleas or anything.

I know there's lots of owner tales of animals seeming to have a sixth sense but ours did strongly sense when a family member was about to come home (not just because of "routine") & could tell when he was going to the vet when driving in the next village (shook uncontrollably).

He was great with my brother & I who were both slightly wary of dogs when our parents brought him home.

I am not in the position to have a dog, but if I were, it'd be a curly I'd want!

horseylady Sat 11-May-13 19:08:05

We've not got an issue with bald spots. Well one on my big curlies tail from bashing it!!!

We have a 2007 and 2011 curly??!!

Mine like paddling, never swum in their lives. Not through lack of trying, they just won't go deeper than their bellies!!!

I just love them both!!

horseylady Sat 11-May-13 19:09:51

Oh weight wise, my big curly 27kg, younger curly 24kg at 15 months.

But they're both quite athletic.

horseylady Sat 11-May-13 19:10:52

Oh and they both lean and LOVE cuddles!!

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 11-May-13 19:23:08

I am starting to think Victor broke the mould when he was born! Victor loves water but not over his belly! He also loves to sit with his back end on the stairs and his front legs on a couple of steps down! he does this half way up the stairs, i think it is his way of resting on the way u ;)

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 11-May-13 19:23:29

Hosey where did your 2007 curly come from?

horseylady Sun 12-May-13 08:18:52

morethan my curlies are the same with water. Will not go deeper than the belly.

Chester. Yours?

Whippoorwhill Sun 12-May-13 08:42:55

Are all your curlies really dexterous with their paws? All of mine have been very foot focused.

The only one of mine that really swam was the Lab cross. She loved retrieving from water and was a very strong swimmer. Teazle could swim and would swim across the river to hassle the ducks but much preferred to splash in the shallows. Rain so far is a splasher. She has only swum once when she accidentally fell in.

Mine have all sat on the stairs like that. It looks so funny with their long legs.

Oh and yes to the leaning and cuddling. The first Curly I ever met was Soph's Mum and she came, said hello and then leaned... hard! smile

Out of interest I weighed Rain last night. She's just over 26kgs so not quite as porky as she was.

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